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What Should Be The Right School For A Child?

Updated on October 22, 2011

There are many parents out there who are troubled for the right school for their children and even there are some who are least concerned about this matter and very often does it happen that they do not think before putting their child in a school. There are even parents who never get satisfied and keep changing the schools of their child. I think those parents should really want to go through this hub as the points below are something that all parents should consider before putting their child in a school.

When parents visit a school, these are some of the things you should look at:

  1. Arrange to be shown around by a couple of older pupils or find another way to chat to some of them out of earshot of staff. Ask about the school (teaching, bullying, friendships, what's best about it), but most of all look at them. Is this how you want your child to turn out?
  2. What are the younger children like? This is the crucible into which your child will be pitched. Do you like the way they play and work together? How do staff and pupils interact? What do the lonely children do?
  3. Make sure you have plenty of opportunity to observe classes as you go around. Are the children absorbed, energetic, listless, disorganised? Is the classroom environment uplifting?
  4. What's the head or the school like? He or she is crucial to the running of the school and your child's happiness - all sorts of iniquities attend on an inadequate one. Staff need the head's support to do difficult things like dealing well with bullying or special needs. Look for one respected by pupils and staff - and who gives you the time of day.
  5. How good is the school academically? By this we mean, how good will it be for your child? All the information you can accumulate should be used to frame this question. Is there a sufficient cohort of children similar to yours (in outlook, ability and gender) doing well enough to provide a consistent supply of role models? Is teaching inspiring (look for popular subjects, thrilled children)? Do pupils enjoy working? What are the end results like, both absolute and value-added?
  6. How well is learning supported? Are there crisp systems for monitoring progress, encouraging outperformance, changing underperformance? It needs to be easy and acceptable for a child to ask for help, whether it's with keeping up to speed in maths or finding something to stretch them in a subject where they excel.
  7. How good is the school at the other things my child and I care about? This will be a personal list, ranging from morals to football. Ask for specific information: prospectuses get filled with formulaic fluff that amounts to ‘we do it all well' - but how many actually attend the chess club and what's their standard? Do all who want really get to play hockey or only the best? Are children with special needs appreciated or just provided for?
  8. Where do kids go on to? Make sure you get a full and truthful list: who leaves early, or at 18. Where do they go to and to do what? Look for a school that cares enough to know, listen for its attitude to its various classes of pupils (do they value them all, most specifically children like yours). And be realistic about how yours may turn out - parents of 11-year-olds generally yearn for schools that are strict on sin, but five years later many value forgiveness.
  9. All sorts of little things might have struck you and you will have accumulated an overall impression. Give these feelings weight. A school's character is embedded in its staff, its environment and, most of all, in its pupils. It is passed down to each new year group and will change only slowly. A receptionist who is rude or a passing teacher who takes time out to talk, shows what the school's spirit allows.
  10. Most importantly, trust your own judgment. No one - not teachers, other parents, or pundits like us - can match your knowledge of your child or understanding of your wishes.

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